Kim Jong-un sends North Korean gardeners to labour camps as special flowers don’t bloom


Gardeners in North Korea are reportedly being sent to labour camps after thousands of special flowers failed to bloom.

The ‘Kimjongilia’ begonias – named after Kim Jong-un’s father and former North Korean leader Kim Jong-il – are meant to be in bloom to mark the dead dictator’s birthday on February 16.

The event is known as the ‘Day of Shining Star’, and typically sees streets in the hermit country lined with red flowers honouring Kim Jong-il, who died in 2011 aged 69.

However, issues with the supply of firewood used to create the ideal temperature and humidity in greenhouses growing the flowers has meant that this year gardeners haven’t got them ready in time.

Kim Jong-un sends North Korean gardeners to labour camps as special flowers don't bloom
Kim Jong-un’s hermit nation are locking up gardeners over the failed flowers

According to Daily NK News, gardeners have been accused of neglecting the plants, with some sentenced to six months in harsh labour camps as a result.

The farm n question is located in Samsu County, and its manager Han has also reportedly been locked up for six months.

Han, in his 50s, was given orders to get the Kimjongilias ready at a regional party committee last month.

He raised concerns – which were dismissed – with officials regarding the flowers, and was promptly sacked and arrested.

‘Kimjongilias’ are bloomed to mark the birthday of Kim Jong-il

Choi, a worker at the farm in his 40s, was accused of not “properly” setting the temperature of the greenhouse boilers and sentenced to three months in a labour camp.

Kimjongilias are known as the “immortal flower” in North Korea, with a string of specially designed greenhouses tasked with growing them set up across the country.

They were created by Japanese botanist Kamo Mototeru to mark Kim Jong-il’s birthday in 1988, but have now taken on a more significant meaning following his death.

Kim Jong-il’s birthday is a significant national holiday in North Korea

Technical difficulties with growing them aren’t new, and often they are imported from China when shortages arise.

Kim Jong-il’s birthday is also one of North Korea’s most important national holidays.

To mark the tenth anniversary of his passing last year, North Koreans were forced to observe 11 days of mourning during which laughing and drinking alcohol were prohibited.

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